Pet Food Information
Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best?

By Don Hanson, BFRAP, CDBC, CPDT-KA

Evaluating The Companies Behind the Foods

Not a day goes by here at Green Acres without at least one person asking us, “Which brand of pet food is the best?” And when pet food companies are in the news, either due to recalls, buyouts or lawsuits, we are asked this question with even more frequency. Unfortunately, there is no single commercial pet food that will be the best food for all pets, despite of what some food companies try to tell us. Individual animals have different needs and these may shift over time. Additionally, pet food formulas and the people and companies behind pet food brands can and do change; today's great food might become tomorrow’s worst. This is why we choose to offer multiple brands of food in our store and why we are constantly monitoring the foods and the companies behind them. It’s also why taking a close look at the company is the first step in selecting a food.

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Criteria for Selecting a Pet Food

Only you can decide what to feed your pet. Listed below are our criteria for selecting a pet food.

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Debunking Pet Food Myths

Good nutrition, based on fresh, wholesome food, is the foundation of good health. This basic principle applies whether we are a human being or an animal. While many people worry about what they feed themselves and their family, these same people often incorrectly assume that all pet food is equal. Based on the aggressive and confusing marketing practices of pet food companies, people erroneously presume they are feeding their pet a quality food at a reasonable price, when in fact they may be unknowingly doing the exact opposite.

When it comes to pet food, the consumer's motto definitely should be "buyer beware." The pet food industry has done a great job of promulgating several myths about their products which many people sadly accept as fact. I encourage you to take the time to learn about these myths so that you can make an informed decision when choosing food for your furry friends.

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Understanding Pet Food Ingredients

The list of ingredients is the most important part of the labeling on any package of pet food. By law, all ingredients must be listed in order, by weight. This portion of the label must indicate if the food is preserved and if so, how. All ingredients on the list are defined by AAFCO. Listed below are some of the ingredient definitions you need to know.

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Determining True Pet Food Costs

The feeding directions on a package of pet food tell you how much you need to feed the average pet in order for them to get an adequate amount of nutrition. This number is usually given as a range, and it is usually best to start at the low end of the range if you do not want to overfeed your pet. The amount you need to feed your pet is a critical piece of information.

Pet food is an expense and many people wish to make sure they are buying a food that fits there budget. Unfortunately, many people erroneously assume that the cheaper the cost per pound, the better the value. This is not the case.

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Why Rotating Diets Makes Sense

by Kate Dutra, 4MAY12

Change - not a word that many pet food manufacturers wanted to hear, but definite music to our dogs’ ears and overall heath. The change that we are referring to is dietary rotation. When we first began discussing dietary rotation several years ago, many of our pet food manufacturers were livid! Today however, largely to meet consumer demand, many pet food manufacturers now are producing diets within their food lines that are designed for convenient rotation.

For years, the pet food companies have been successfully convincing many of us that changing our pet’s diet will result in digestive upset. And if you ever did try to switch foods, they were quite often proven correct and you would never make that mistake again! But when you step back and think about it from a canine evolutionary standpoint, does it even make sense? Dogs are scavengers. In its feral state a dog’s gastrointestinal tracts should be equipped to

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Alternating Your Dogs Food Makes Sense

By Kate Dutra

For several years I bought into the idea that it was not healthy for my dogs to switch foods, and that once I found a good, high quality brand that they liked, I should just stick with it. This is what the pet food companies and some of the experts were saying and after all, I had a dog that was living proof of the disaster that can occur when foods get switched. A long haired dog with diarrhea – what a mess! So, I threw common sense out the window, and year after year my dogs were fed the same thing day in and day out.

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Thinking About a Raw or Homemade Diet?

Feeding a raw or homemade diet is not for everyone, but in some cases it can make a dramatic difference in your dog’s health.  It was way back in 1991 when Paula and I brought home a Cairn Terrier puppy named Gus that we began a long and fruitful journey in learning about pet nutrition.

The first lesson we learned was that all dog food is not the same. There is a large variation amongst pet foods, from manufacturing and quality control to ingredients used and where they are sourced from.  The second thing we learned was that the dry, highly processed product called dry dog food or kibble, was far from optimal nutrition for most dogs. A dog eating kibble as a sole food source was pretty much the same as Paula and I eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese as our only source of nutrition. Yes, we probably would survive but it’s very unlikely that we would be experiencing optimum health.

Gus’ many health issues would lead us to feeding many

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A Comparison of Adult Dry and Frozen Raw Dog Foods

This article is a chart of the various dry and frozen foods we sell at Green Acres. It lists the foods in alphabetical order, indicates the price as of the last time the chart was updated (8NOV11), the amount of  food to feed a 50lbs dog, how much it costs per day to feed that 50lbs dog, and the main ingredients in the food. It makes a great way to easily compare foods.

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A Comparison of Frozen Raw Dog Food Costs

Steve's Real Food

Variety Price Pkg Size (lbs) Recommended lbs/day* Cost/lb Cost/cup** Cost/day*
Steve's Beef $29.99 10 1 $3.00   $3.00
Steve's Chicken $28.99 10 1 $2.90   $2.90
Steve's Turducken $31.84 10 1 $3.19   $3.19
Steve's Turkey $28.99 10 1 $2.90   $2.90
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California Natural Grain-Free Diets

Because of California Natural's healthy, natural ingredients and the fact that they use so few ingredients in their formulas, California Natural pet foods have always been one of our first recommendations for pets that have food allergy or intolerance issues. Their foods are limited to 3 central ingredients. For example the Chicken Meal and Rice formula includes; chicken meal, brown rice, rice and sunflower oil. A pet food can't be much simpler.

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